By Marcina Zaccaria


In “Give The People What They Want,” five actors find love, sex, truth, money, and justice in seven short plays.


Greg Kotis has written funny scenes, drawn from sketch comedy.  This collection of seven short plays have memorable titles: A Walk in a Public Area, Weather, Bad Master, The Absence of the Sexy Self, A Very, Very Bad Deal, So Sharp, and Court Play.  As the characters fumble through dealing with life, love, and the possibility of something deeper, they have a firm sense of right and wrong.  Their comedy is energetic and never lacking in basic humanity.


A few chairs and some cubes help to define the space for the actors.  Costume design is just a notch up from average street wear.  The cast, in order of appearance, chooses to use their actual names onstage.  Micah Sherman, Julie Sharbutt, Dan Hodapp, Keisha Kollar, and Chris Roberti are strong, skilled, and reliant on material that seems at home at the People’s Improv Theater.  They run to the back of the audience and bound across all sides of the stage.  When they give the people what they want, they are sharing some of their everyday, but also testing, honing, and experimenting with their range.


Their themes are quotidian, and their average is a just a bit high-strung.  While keeping pace and direction, though, the actors never forget their soul.  “A Walk in the Public Area,” the first project of the piece, is less a realism exercise but more like an actual conversation among twenty somethings that could have happened last week.  In “The Absence of his Sexy Self,” a scene that is like a real-world episode, actors confront ghosts that trouble them when they feel unsexy.  In the Justice scene, performers wish the best for John Doe as they bring to court a case called In Spiritu Obligato.  The case discusses John Doe, who is first empty air, then a person who confesses that he was a murderer.  The characters onstage are quite attentive to the drama, but the moment lacks emotion.  But, if “Court Play,” like some of the other sketches, falls short perhaps it is less in the construction of the drama than the representation on the stage.


Though some moments seem too spare, “Give the People What They Want” is a fun, light evening at the theater.  It is running Friday, Oct. 25 & Friday, Nov. 11.  All performances are at 8:00pm.  The PIT is located at 123 E. 24th Street (between Park and Lexington Avenues), accessible from the N, R, 4 & 6 trains at 23rd Street.  Information about the project can be found at